Sales increased by 22.2 % to TEUR 46.644 Consolidated earnings (EBIT) in the 1st half year 2010 clearly improved

(PresseBox) ( Kropfmühl, )
Graphit Kropfmühl AG (DEUTSCHE BOERSE: "GKR") clearly benefited from the positive development of the economic environment and confirms the trend of the 1st quarter of 2010.

The total turnover of the group increased to TEUR 38,165 in the 1st half year. Compared to the same period of the previous year this is an increase of 22.2 %. The second quarter of 2010 thereby again improved to TEUR 25,018 which is an 24.6 % increase compared to the 2nd quarter 2008.

Earnings and profitability accompanies this development and the applicable figures clearly improved. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) in the group jumped from TEUR 160 in the previous year to TEUR 934. Earnings before tax (EBT) clearly increased compared to the same period of the previous year and amount to TEUR 512. In 2009 this item still showed a loss of TEUR 670.

Profit for the year attributable to shareholders of the company clearly rose to TEUR 385 or 0.14 Euro per share, after a loss of TEUR - 581 or - 0.20 Euro per share in the previous year.

Siliconmetal segment

The course of business in the siliconmetal segment continues to be highly pleasing. Capacities in this segment are fully utilised as planned, and compared to the previous year the siliconmetal sales volume increased by 13.9 % to 14,420 t. Our average prices for siliconmetal are lower than in the previous year, but since the beginning of the year prices have shown a slight upward trend again.

In the reporting period the profitability of this segment is additionally burdened by higher acquisition prices for energy and raw materials. In combination with the lower sales prices, energy prices as the main cost factor in production have become even more important. Furthermore, we also had to accept an increase in the price of electrodes.

Because of the remaining cost structure both the gross profit and the other earnings ratios in this segment decreased disproportionately, and remained behind the previous year's figures despite the increased turnover.

Graphite segment

The positive development of the graphite segment was further boosted in the 2nd quarter of 2010. The great demand is reflected in clearly improved sales and turnover figures. In the first half year this segment realised a turnover increase of 46.8 % to TEUR 15,925.

The production capacities are excellently utilised. In the 1st half year production sometimes was running at capacity limits. This situation will be relieved by a newly started micronising line at the Kropfmühl plant that will be fully available for the first time starting from the 3rd quarter of 2010.

The graphite segment also is burdened by strongly increasing prices on the acquisition side. As a result of the heavily increasing volume of goods transported all over the world, the transport costs and thus our incidental acquisition costs follow this trend, which means that our margins in this segment now clearly can feel this pressure.

Outlook for 2010

The figures of the 1st half year show that both segments can participate in growth of world economy at an aboveaverage share. For the total year the group expects a total turnover of more than EUR 90 million, provided that the development of the global economy does not unexpectedly get worse.

In the siliconmetal segment the achievable prices are lower than in the previous year, but a further downward trend is not to be expected in the present environment. However, electricity costs as the most important factor in production have become even more essential, and thus the siliconmetal segment will not reach the earnings and profitability figures of the previous year. With the newly established micronising capacity and with additional sales of lubricants and separating agents the graphite segment presumably will exceed the forecast increase in turnover.

Under these prerequisites the Graphit Kropfmühl Group is expecting to exceed the previous year's earnings and profitability ratios also in the total year.

Forwardlooking statements

This press release contains statements about future developments that are based on currently available information and may involve risks and uncertainties, the result of which may be that the actual results may differ from the forwardlooking statements. Statements about future developments must not be understood as guarantees. Future developments and events rather depend on a variety of factors, they contain various risks and imponderabilities and are based on assumptions that might turn out to be incorrect. For example, these include unforeseeable changes of the general political, economic, and social conditions.
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